Americans’ life expectancy plummeted by almost a year in 2021

(Washington) The life expectancy of Americans has been reduced by almost a year in 2021, after having already lost a year and a half in 2020, in particular because of the COVID-19 pandemic, announced Wednesday the American health authorities .

Posted at 12:19 a.m.

It stood at 76.1 years last year, according to provisional figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the lowest since 1996.

This is the largest decline observed over two consecutive years since the years 1921 to 1923.

For comparison, the life expectancy of Americans was 77 years in 2020 – up from 78.8 years in 2019.

“The decline in life expectancy since 2019 is largely driven by the pandemic,” the CDC wrote.

Deaths related to COVID-19 accounted for three-quarters of the decline seen in 2020, and half of the decline in 2021.

Around 15% of the decline recorded in 2021 could also be attributed to the increase in deaths linked to “accidents and unintentional injuries”, including overdoses in particular.

Health authorities note that the gap in life expectancy between men and women has widened from 5.7 years in 2020 to 5.9 in 2021. This is the widest gap since 1996 .

In detail, American women had a life expectancy of 79.1 years in 2021, compared to 73.2 for men.

The largest decline in life expectancy in 2021 was seen among Indigenous people (-1.9 years from 2020), followed by white people (-1 year), then African Americans (-0.7 year).

Indigenous life expectancy in 2021 was only 65.2 years.

It was 70.8 years for black people, compared to 76.4 for white people.

COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2021, as it was in 2020, behind cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to a previous CDC report.

After a final peak in the winter of 2022, COVID-19-related deaths have fallen sharply in the United States, although the country is still recording around 400 a day for a total of more than a million deaths since the end of the month. start of the pandemic.

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